One of my favorite things to do in any country I visit, perhaps because we simply don’t have these traditional kinds of shops in America, is visit the little old neighborhood bakeries to see if there are any local specialties, and of course the local versions of national favorites.
In Spain they have two kinds of bakeries, though they are sometimes combined: panaderías and pastelerías, one for baguette-style loaves, rolls and other kinds of daily breads, and the other specializing in sweets: elaborate cakes and tortes, cookies, meringues whipped up like little cupcakes, marzipan in every shape imaginable.
One of my personal favorites are small, soft donuts that can be seen in the center of the picture below. They can be found in some pastelerías all year round, but there is a special version sold everywhere in the weeks of Lent running up to Easter, usually made with a little bit of anice, known as rosquillas or buñuelos de cuaresma. I used to pick them up in Barcelona in small shops like this or at La Boqueria market on Las Ramblas.
Do you have any favorite pastries from Spain? Anything I must try next time I’m there?